Saturday, March 9, 2013

Got A Biz Name? Now Get Your Cards, Part 1

Does it seem like we are taking baby steps where starting a successful home-based art or craft business is concerned? We are. It's better to take it a little slow and make sure you have what you want, rather than having to change things a gazillion times later.

I've been a name and a design, only to find that it didn't fit my business a year or so down the road. If you started off with a great name that defines you and one that you can brand, changing the design around it is less critical to your overall branding success.

The business card is or can be part of your signature to your art. Most of us don't "mark" our handmade pieces, so what do collectors go for? Your business card. It's the way they feel they can connect to you when the show or sale is over. Have you ever noticed how someone taking your card looks at it? If you haven't paid attention up to now, make note of it the next time you give someone your card.

 Your card can define you as much as your business name. What is your product, your art, your talent? You want your business card to create an initial image of "you" in the potential customer's mind. Marketing 101...the first impression you give the prospective client is the most important one.

The first thing to select in your business card design is the font or letter style. Pick a font that is easy to read but reflects your personal style. There are plenty of Font sites on the web to provide you with just what you are looking for. Some of my favorite sites are:,, and Some fonts are free...yeah! and some are not. Just remember to keep your choice simple and readable...but reflective of who you are and what your business is. Just a thought...A beautiful fancy script font isn't always the best choice, because for some, they can be hard to focus on or read. You get the idea. Oh, and before downloading a font, make sure your have a really good anti-virus software program already installed on your computer!

Now for the background. You can have your background cover the entire business card, be just a picture in the corner, two corners, three, and so on. You don't have to complete this part of the card yourself, either. Most people use a service like Vistaprint or contact a graphic artist they know. Graphic art students are always a valuable resource, and some are willing to do the work just for their portfolio or the practice. If you know how to use Photoshop, Pagemaker, Corel, or any of the other graphic design software, good for you, but it isn't a necessity, so don't panic at this step.

Even though I did the initial design of my cards myself, a valuable resource for me is Plumrose Lane. Sharon designed my blog background, and kiddies, it was free. There was a small fee to add my name to the title, but it was truly minimal. My point being, do some research. If you aren't talented in this area, or you just don't want to take the time away from your work, find someone to help you. The card is yours and should look the way you want it to look.

For your homework:
1.  Pick a font
2.  Decide photo or background content
3.  Begin to think about the information to be included on the card. We will cover that next time.

Thanks so much for reading, and until next time...Stay Wired Up! (oh and yes, we will be talking about working with wire on this blog, too. :-) Gail